Chewbacca’s Media Intelligence Mission

Candace Payne, does that name ring a bell? And what about the Chewbacca mask video, does that maybe ring a bell? Probably, as she managed to reach more than 125 million people with just a simple video taken in the car and shared via Facebook. Not only did she reach a big audience, she also managed to boost the Star Wars franchise, be interviewed, appear on television, on- and offline media and receive many offers. Let’s look into detail how she managed to reach such a big media coverage. 

Instant star

Candace just got back from a toystore, having bought herself a growling Chewbacca mask (not sure if the word ‘talking’ is suitable) with a jaw that immitates the movement of the speaker talking. She unpacked the mask in her car, put it on, tested it and started laughing hilariously. That’s it! This was soon shared all over the world and in no time she had produced a viral video. 

Targeted marketing 

Due to its attention in social media, written press, blogs, radio shows and TV channels started writing and posting about this 4 minute video.

So what was reported about in various media:

  • Candace Payne
  • Kohl’s (toystore)
  • Chewbacca
  • Star Wars
  • Disney 

Media attention 

All these brands and her personal profile got specific attention resulting in an increase of social media followers and a massive sales boost of Star Wars merchandise, in particular the mask. In no time it was sold out. Big business for Kohl’s and Disney (owning the franchise), no doubt. 

This broad media coverage was reached with a simple video of just a couple of minutes. It only proves that personal experiences and/or reviews might reach better results than expensive advertising and media campaigns, which immediately illustrates that old advertising is clearly embracing new approaches to appeal to newer generations (think of Facebook’s recent branded content). 

Let’s be honest, next time you consider buying a new product, would you immediately have a look at the commercial web page, or first read and watch reviews?